The Other Of One: Book Two
Written by: Brian G. Burke
One of the pleasant surprises of last year was Irish author Brian G. Burke’s epic fantasy The Other Of One. An ambitious coming of age tale blended with myth and magic and more than a hint of Irish folklore, it was a highly impressive and entertaining debut.
As the story continues with book two, young William Muldoon has fully embraced his destiny and begins his arduous journey to vanquish the evil Drevol Briggun and free the land of Lythiann so its people, the Dwelvin Mites can return.
As with most sequels, we’ve already become invested in the main characters and backstory so this time the journey itself takes centre stage and it’s here that Burke shows his true skill as a storyteller. In book two he manages to take a massive journey and populate it with a narrative so finely tuned that each event flows effortlessly to the next, while still taking time to further develop the main characters, allowing them to breathe within the confines of the plot. To a large extent this works particularly well, with each set piece providing different challenges and perils for William and his group.
William himself has finally come to terms with his fate and now must face the challenge of not only making this terrifying journey, but also keeping his group together, protecting them and managing his growing feelings for Wren. Book two also begins the death of William’s childhood, the sheer scale of his responsibilities forcing him to mature as his desperation and fear turns to determination and bravery. His abilities as a leader are tested constantly and he is forced to make difficult choices, unsure of who he can trust and often lacking confidence in his abilities but he becomes a far more interesting character as a result.
The nature of the journey in book two makes it a very different book than its predecessor. As William draws closer to his inevitable confrontation with Briggun, the tone becomes much darker
and difficult choices have to be made, while the landscape around them becomes more treacherous with each step forward, but there are also some brilliant moments of levity, often at the most inappropriate times, making them all the more welcome. Burke’s development as a writer is clearly obvious as he becomes more comfortable with his characters and once again the sheer scale of the world he has created for this saga is staggering, each scene masterfully detailed and constructed, reinforced by a solid narrative with more than a few surprises up its sleeve.
One of the most ambitious and accomplished fantasy tales I have read in recent years, The Other Of One is one of those rare moments when a reviewer realises they have come across something very special indeed.
5 out of 5 Nerds
To celebrate the launch of book two Brian has given us a signed copy of books one and two to giveaway.
To win a copy, just send us an email to email@example.com with your name and address, marking the email ‘The other competition’.
The competition closes at midnight on Friday 27th Feb and we’ll email the winner afterwards.
Norman T&Cs apply. Judge’s decision is final and no cash alternative can be offered.